“Blessed be the LORD! For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” (28:6-7)
I must admit, mercy isn’t something I regularly pray for. Vindication, yes; mercy, no. Recently this fact has slapped me in the face. Who do I think I am?
I like to point out my righteousness as a reason God should answer me, much like David does in 26:1. I love justice, but suddenly, I really love mercy.
The popular verse in Micah 6:8 orders as such:
- DO justly
- LOVE mercy
- WALK humbly
These really tie into each other. Doing justly can often lead to pride and the desire to “bring someone down so justice can be served”. Mercy and humility fly out the window.
If I’ve learned anything from working here in Greece, it’s that I am a mess, a sinner, in desperate need of a savior. There’s a lot of uneducated elbows bumping, over here, as many unqualified people (such as myself) rush to answer a very complex, advanced issue. The battle between volunteers, NGOs, the UN, churches, etc. is weird and certainly the worst part. I cannot forget to walk humbly.
I frequently receive encouraging messages from friends and family, showering me with praise for the amazing things I’m doing, and I’ve gotta say, I don’t deserve it. I’m making mistakes. Who knows what’s helping and what’s hurting? I’m not a professional. At best, I’m a strange friend. Sometimes I’m afraid to come home because people will realize just how much of a not hero I really am.
My soul is tired. I spend a lot of time stressed and angry. I don’t even know if I’m mad at the right people. I’m coming home a broken person and right about now I love mercy.
I haven’t been merciful, I’ve been judgemental. And now I find myself praying as the tax collector in Luke 18:13 crying, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!” Thankfully, Jesus says that tax collector goes home justified.
Today my heart sings praises of thankfulness to my LORD, my shield, who has heard my plea for mercy.
There’s no being selective about who receives mercy. There’s no favoritism on who receives justice. There’s no one excused from humility. Even Jesus was humble (Philippians 2:6-8).
Yes, sometimes God answers us, because we have walked in righteousness. But hallelujah, He answers us, because He is merciful.